Learn the Basics of CONTRACT DOCUMENTS


In this Guide, we will Learn the Basics of Construction Contracts. Scoping, Schedules, and Construction Costs Are Key.  Before you Proceed, We recommend to Read about CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS.

Construction contracts are a tool that every builder must know inside and out. Each contractor uses a different checklist when building a contract, starting with the most basic of line items, matching the complexity of the contract with that of the project. Aside from the construction itself, the contract is one of the most important facets when starting a new project, and even items considered common sense shouldn’t be overlooked.


The contract documents set out the obligations and responsibilities of the parties to the contract. On a traditionally-procured, fully-designed construction project, the contract documents for suppliers such as the main contractor are likely to include:

  1. The article of agreement and conditions of contract, for completing as a simple contract (or as a deed).
  2. Working drawings.
  3. Bills of quantities.
  4. Specifications.
  5. Schedules of work.
  6. Perhaps an information release schedule. Consultants can be reluctant to produce information release schedules because of concerns about being held to the dates on the schedule (even where the progress of construction does not require information when the information release schedule proposes it). Failure to keep to the dates set out in the information release schedule may then be a matter for which the contractor can claim an extension of time and loss and/or expense.
  7. A schedule of tender adjustments or clarifications negotiated and agreed after the receipt of tenders and prior to the signing of the contract.
  8. The requirement for the contractor to provide a performance bond and to obtain collateral warranties from any sub-contractors or suppliers.
  9. Both client and contractor should engross the contract by witnessed signatures prior to the commencement of work. In practice, the administrative effort of collating all necessary paperwork can be overtaken by the desire to begin construction. In such circumstances, it becomes harder to sort out any disputes as to the content. There have been cases where the courts have had to interpret an implied contract when the contract has remained unsigned.
About the Author
Er. Mukesh Kumar
Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Fonder at ProCivilEngineer.com Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.